Brussels (Brussels Morning) Iran has ruled out informal meetings with the EU and the US on reviving the lapsed nuclear deal, demanding the US must first lift all the sanctions it imposed unilaterally, BBC reports.
Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs indicated that the informal talks proposed by the EU are inappropriate at this time.
The US was disappointed at Iran’s response, but said it remains prepared to “re-engage in meaningful diplomacy”.
The US reimposed sanctions on Iran in 2018 in a bid to force the country to renegotiate the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) which was signed in 2015. Iran refused to renegotiate the deal and rolled back some of its commitments.
Each wants the other to make the first concession
The new US administration said it was willing to rejoin the JCPOA, but insisted that Iran must first return to full compliance. Tehran demands that the US lifts the sanctions first.
Saeed Khatibzadeh, spokesman of the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, noted that “considering the recent actions and statements by the United States and three European powers, Iran does not consider this the time to hold an informal meeting with these countries, which was proposed by the EU foreign policy chief”, according to Iranian media reports.
An unnamed White House spokesman said the US plans to consult other JCPOA parties – China, France, Germany, Russia and the UK – on how to proceed.
Last month, Iran started restricting access to its nuclear sites by UN International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors. The move put pressure on JCPOA parties to convince the US to remove sanctions against Iranian banking, finance and oil sectors.
Iran suspected of wanting to build a nuclear weapon
While some countries have been suspicious of the Islamic Republic of Iran, claiming t the country could have ambitions to build a nuclear weapon, Tehran denies this.
Iran and the other six signatories of the JCPOA agreed on limitations on Iran’s nuclear programme in July 2015 in exchange for lifting sanctions against the country. Iran also agreed at the time to allow international inspectors to have access to its nuclear facilities.